The list of 2022 NFL Award winners spans those who made their debuts in the league just a few months ago and individuals who have been doing their thing for a long time.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes won his second NFL MVP award in a vote that wasn’t necessarily too close.
San Francisco 49ers star Nick Bosa the earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year in what was a lopsided vote.
As for coaching, New York Giants head man Brian Daboll took the award over Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers.
Below, we break down each of the 2022 NFL Award winners as the league prepares for Super Bowl LVII in Arizona on Sunday.
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NFL MVP: Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
This really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. The record-setting quarterback was on a completely different playing field than his counterparts during the 2022 regular season en route to leading Kansas City to a league-best 14-3 record.
Patrick Mahomes stats (2022): 67% completion, 5,250 yards, 45 total TD, 12 INT, 105.2 QB rating
Mahomes led a Chiefs offense that ranked first in the NFL in scoring at 29.2 points per game. He also led the league in passing yards and touchdown passes in what was the quarterback’s second-best statistical performance after his initial NFL MVP campaign of 2018.
NFL Offensive Player of the Year: Justin Jefferson, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings
This is not the last time that Justin Jefferson will find himself among the list of NFL Award winners. The dude has been absolutely brilliant over the course of his first three seasons, recording 324 receptions for 4,825 yards and 25 touchdowns in 50 games. But Jefferson’s 2022 performance was simply amazing.
- Justin Jefferson stats (2022): 128 receptions, 1,809 yards, 8 TD, 69.6% catch rate
Not only did Jefferson lead the NFL in receptions and yards, he dropped only five of 184 targets for a mere 2.7% drop rate. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins also posted an elite 104.2 QB rating when targeting his top wide receiver.
Related: Sportsnaut’s top 2023 NFL free agents
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Bosa, defensive end, San Francisco 49ers
During NFL Honors on Thursday night, the three-time Pro Bowler was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He beat out the likes of fellow edge rusher Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys for the award.
Nick Bosa stats (2022): 48 QB hits, 19 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks
In addition to leading the league with 18.5 sacks during the regular season, Bosa recorded an NFL-high 98 overall pressures. Over the course of his first 51 career games, Bosa has registered106 QB hits, 56 tackles for loss and 43 sacks. That seems pretty good.
NFL Coach of the Year: Brian Daboll, New York Giants
What Daboll did in his first season as the Giants’ head coach was nothing short of extraordinary. Going to work with a bottom-10 roster in terms of talent, Daboll led New York to a 9-7-1 record and their first appearance in the playoffs since all the way back in 2016.
From the start of the season moving forward, Daboll’s ability to turn quarterback Daniel Jones into a starter-caliber player was simply sensational. He brought that pedigree from Buffalo to New York and has the Giants on an upward trajectory moving forward.
NFL Comeback Player of the Year: Geno Smith, quarterback, Seattle Seahawks
The fact that Geno Smith outplayed Russell Wilson in his first season as the Seahawks’ starting quarterback is just something. Considered a draft bust of the New York Jets, Smith entered the 2022 season having tallied 34 passing touchdowns against 37 interceptions in his first nine NFL seasons.
The West Virginia product responded by throwing 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while leading the league in completion percentage (69.8%) en route to leading Seattle to a surprise playoff apparance. The veteran now heads into free agency as one of the top NFL Award winners for the 2022 season.
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year: Garrett Wilson, wide receiver New York Jets
- Garrett Wilson stats (2022): 83receptions, 1,103 yards, 4 TD, 56.5% catch rate, 3.4% drop rate
We can’t fault the disastrous Jets’ quarterback situation for Wilson’s struggles to conclude the season. He hauled in just 16-of-37 targets over the final three games. New York scored a grand total of 15 points during that span with the likes of Zach Wilson, Mike White, Joe Flacco and Chris Streveler (who?) seeing action under center.
As for Wilson’s entire body of work, the Ohio State product put up three 100-yard games as a rookie. He’s also topped the 90-yard plateau a total of six times. It has Wilson as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: Sauce Gardner, cornerback, New York Jets
- Sauce Gardner stats: 75 tackles, 20 passes defended, 2 INT
Sauce Gardner led the NFL with 20 passes defended during his rookie year. He made game-changing plays against the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen throughout his rookie season. Opposing quarterbacks boasted a 53.1% completion and 61.2 QB rating when targeting the first-year player. Wide receivers averaged 5.1 yards per target when blanketed by Gardner.
Do we really have to say anthing more? Gardner is not only the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, he’s already a Pro Bowler and well on his way to becoming one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.
Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year: Dak Prescott, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys
A multi-time candidate for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, Dak Prescott was honored Thursday evening. It’s been a long time coming given his work in the community and what the Cowboys’ quarterback has dealt with throughout his life.
That included Prescott doing everything possible to help prevent suicide after he lost his brother in that manner. His work to save lives had had a widespread impact in Dallas and throughout the rest of the country. We applaud Mr. Prescott for his work.